Consumer stories

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Word limit: 1750 words in total, consisting of:

 Part 1 – three 250-word blog posts and students comments(no word limits)

Part 2 – 1000 words essay.

Task

There are two parts to the : Part 1 requires you to write and post three blog posts and one comment on another student’s blog post; Part 2 requires you to write an essay.

Part 1

Blog post 1

Write a post headed ‘Decision making’ up to 250 words

The first blog post requires you to discuss the role, if any, that ethical, green or fair-trade attributes play in your purchasing decisions, focusing on a particular example of such a decision. In your discussion you need to classify the type of decision as cognitive, habitual, affective or other, giving your reason for so doing. You also need to take into consideration the nature of the product or service involved, as well as any internal factors (e.g. consumer loyalty), and/or external factors (e.g. information availability) that might have influenced your behaviour as a consumer on this occasion.

Is social and environmental impact a key attribute in your purchasing decisions? Or do you regard ethical claims as irrelevant, or impossible to make with certainty (given the complexity of supply chains in a globalising economy)?

Explain the role, if any, that ethical, green or fair-trade attributes play in your purchasing decisions.

Focus on a particular example of such a decision. How would you classify this decision (cognitive, habitual, affective, or a combination), and why?

In relation to this example, what influenced your behaviour in this regard (e.g. factors individual to you, and/or external factors)?

extra activity for part 1

You have to write a additional comment(no word limits) on what the student wrote. The comment must be separate and not to be a reference to your  blog.

Student comment :

Hi everyone,

The purchasing decision I want to discuss is when I last bought a new mobile phone. The nature of this decision starts as I was at the end of my current phone contract, and my phone ran slow, with a poor battery life. My work is heavily phone based, so I had a need for a new one, with a desire for it to have a long-lasting battery life and good camera. This is a cognitive decision, not something we buy everyday, meaning it’s a longer purchasing process, evaluating price and specification to be satisfied with the choice. Within this, it’s often found that you’ll use the simple additive rule to compare the different mobile phones to see which is more desirable from their specifications.Information availability is highly influential on my decision making process. If I don’t know about the company, I’m less inclined to buy their product. With Apple, I am a long-time loyal consumer, and sway towards repeated purchases from previous positive experiences. The focus of Apple is to use the company power over product power. I am familiar and trust the company, and so almost doesn’t matter what the product is, I’m already more inclined to purchase.I also consider ethical factors when purchasing. It is important that my decisions are informed, and so I looked at Apple’s ethical practices too ensure they aligned with my own morals.

I therefore ended up with the newest iPhone!

Your meaningful comment  :

Blog post 2

Write a post headed ‘Involvemenup to 250 words

The second blog post requires you to discuss your level of involvement (product, message, situational or ego) with reference to an example of your own consumer behaviour. You should refer to any relevant concepts, e.g. the ladder of loyalty, or how you addressed relevant risks in a high-involvement situation

Choose one of the four types of involvement : product, message, situational and ego. With reference to an example of your own behaviour as a customer. Be specific about the level of involvement (high or low) and what factors contributed to it. Use the prompts below to help you, according to what type you choose:

*Product involvement: Explain how the cost or importance of the purchase affected your involvement.

*Message involvement: What was it about the marketing communication in question that caught your attention, and why? Did it actually lead to purchase on your part? If not, what other effects might it have had?

*Situational involvement: What exactly was the situation and how did it contribute to your customer experience? Have you become an advocate for that product or service as a result, or what other consequences has situational involvement had for you?

*Ego involvement: Why do you think the product or service was so important to your sense of who you are, or would like to be? In what ways, if any, has the purchase and use of the item helped you achieve your ideal self, or had an effect on your self-esteem?

extra activity for part 1

You have to write a additional comment(no word limits) on what the student wrote. The comment must be separate and not to be a reference to your blog.

Student comment :

I use high customer involvement when booking a holiday.When booking a holiday, I look at the potential risks that could be involved and try to minimise this as much as I can.I take my inspiration from TV ads that always show beautiful resorts and white sandy beaches. But before I make a booking I am heavily involved in the research of the country and whether we are putting ourselves at risk physically, i,e Florida in hurricane season. I also look at reputable travel agency websites and the guidance they put out. Once I have decided where to go, the involvement starts again with functional risks as I look at the resorts in the area and what they offer. I also research the individual resorts and is it family friendly with activities to participate in on and off the resort, and to make sure it has the facilities that we need.After deciding on the resort, I look at the monetary risk and look closely at the price as the starting price per person may not be the end price, once I have added all the extras and especially with the travel and transfer costs, I need to be able to afford it. If this resort it too expensive, then I look for a cheaper alternative that still meets the needs.

 Throughout this whole process I am fully involved from deciding, to booking and then to going. Even when I am there I am still involved and deciding if it worth the wait and if I would want to go back.

Your meaningful comment  :

Blog post 3

Write a post headed ‘perceptionup to 250 words

In the third blog post, you need to reflect on how differences in perception can influence consumer behaviour. Use the example you provide for illustrating how a brand can address the differences in perception consumers might have about its products/services.

Having now reflected on perception and the potential for different points of view, consider a situation when you have had to make a buying decision with at least one other person, when there was a difference of opinion on what product/brand would best meet your needs.

Why was there that difference?

How was it overcome?

Was the right decision made (all things considered)?

Consumer stories blog analysing the role played by perception in the buying decision in question. Suggest ways in which the marketing of the goods or services involved might address differences in perception.

extra activity for part 1

You have to write a additional comment(no word limits) on what the student wrote. The comment must be separate and not to be a reference to your blog.

Student comment :

Earlier this year a very good friend of mine, who is much more into keeping fit than I am, asked me if I would like to come along to a new concept fitness class with her.As soon as she asked me my reaction was no, I wasn’t fit enough to walk into a room with other ladies who train everyday and have perfect bodies, or at least that’s what my perception of it was. After some gentle persuasion I agreed to go along and see what it was all about. There was a great deal available where I would get 3 classes for free at the beginning with no obligation to sign up to any membership after. Walking through the door and passing numerous advertisement boards and posters with slim fit men and women on made me question it again but as soon as I got started and seen how professional and helpful the trainer was I was instantly at ease. Fast forward about 8 months and I am hooked. Its now a familiar place where I feel comfortable and have made some new friends. I do think the advertisement could be adjusted slightly to attract more people like myself who thought only extremely fit people go to these classes when actually that isn’t the case. It has changed my perception on these kind of adverts and would have more confidence in the future trying something new.

Your meaningful comment  :

Part 2

Part 2 asks you to discuss the links between consumer purchase decision, consumer involvement and consumer perception. To illustrate such links you are required to draw on your own blog posts and any other consumer experience you might have.

In your answer you should demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the three concepts. This will help you articulate meaningful links between such concepts. The focus of the essay though should be on the links between concepts, so avoid explaining the concepts without providing such links. Additionally, focus on demonstrating knowledge and understanding only of aspects relevant for your discussion. For example, if you want to discuss the links between habitual decisions and low consumer involvement, you should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of these only; you are not required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of cognitive decisions or of high customer involvement, as these would not be the focus of your discussion. Finally, highlight how the analysis helps you better understand consumer behaviour and the implications for practice of such understanding.

It is important to write your blog posts and your essay within the specified word limit, and to structure your work so that your arguments are easy to follow. You can achieve this by being as concise as possible, by addressing the requirements of this essay, by adequately structuring your argument and by backing up your argument with relevant theory and examples.

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